Bears

Bates not passing game coordinator? Curious

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Bates not passing game coordinator? Curious

Recently published reports stated Jeremy Bates would not be considered for a position on the Bears' coaching staff, but today Bates was named the team's quarterbacks coach.

What's curious about the announcement is that Bates wasn't given the title as passing game coordinator, at least in the Bears' release to the media.

It's hard to imagine he was hired for any other reason than he has worked with Jay Cutler in a system in which Cutler flourished. I don't know much about Bates, but he should be allowed to devise a passing game that suits Cutler's talents.

Taking plays that they ran in Denver and inserting them into the Bears offense should be the first order of business. The person that needs the most comfort in an offensive system is the quarterback. Plays, routes, checks all need to be second nature and this could be the long-term solution to allow Cutler to reach his full potential.

I like the fact the Bears hired someone that has worked directly with Cutler. Bates understands what he's getting into when it comes to Cutler's personality, and it's hard to believe previous reports that Cutler and Bates have a strained relationship, otherwise he would not have been hired.

Just curious why Bates doesn't have title of passing game coordinator.

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents. 

That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?

The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room). 

So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure. 

Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return. 

“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”

If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length. 

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How hot is John Fox's seat?

Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) and Matt Zahn (CBS 2) join Kap on the panel. If the Bears lose badly to the Lions, should Sunday be John Fox’s last game? 

Plus Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill joins the panel to talk Bulls as well as the Niko/Portis cold war.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: